tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN July 12, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
akeed, rashad, al, everyone just thank you so much. here's to 40. i think i'm done. i'm taking a vacation for two weeks. so deuces. jake tapper, take it on over. did acasta's efforts at damage control ultimately seal his doom. "the lead" starts now. he's out, the labor secretary is leaving as critics slam a plea deal he brokered for an alleged child rapist and leaving another open vacancy. and the tropical storm that has not hit yet and why they are facing an unprecedented flood threat right now. plus he gave up the gavel and then picked up a hammer. president trump unloading on paul ryan after ryan basically said he doesn't have a clue.
welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we begin with the politics lead. president trump on defense unloading at the white house as another cabinet secretary leaves the administration under the shadow of scandal, this time labor secretary alex acosta claiming he's leaving willingly to he is not a distraction but privately president trump was stewing over the unwanted attention to the trump administration and the president was worried about the steady stream of revelations to come involving the 2008 plea deal acosta brokers with well-connected multi-millionaire and accused child rapist jeffreyef steen. and president trump went from praising acosta to questioning why the victims had not been notified about that plea agreement ahead of time as mandated by law. and that is a key request many of us have been asking and a
federal judge in february found should have been done. ruling that acosta broke the law. as kaitlan collins reports, the exit comes as president trump is weighing whether another top official should soon be headed to that busy trump administration departure lounge. >> reporter: the day at the white house began with an exit. >> alex called me this morning and he wanted to see me. >> reporter: as labor secretary alex acosta announced he will resign over the scrutiny he played in the role of jeffrey epstein plea deal that helped him avoid federal charges. >> i do not think it is right and fair for this administration's labor department to have epstein as the focus -- >> reporter: with acosta by his side, president trumpin sistered the decision was acosta's. >> this was him, not me. because i'm with him. >> reporter: but the writing was on the wall on thursday night when cnn first reported trump had grown skeptical that the
acosta press conference would calm the waters. >> today's world treats victims very, very differently. >> reporter: sources say president trump went from praising acosta to questioning why the victims were never notified about the plea deal. yet today he insisted otherwise. >> i thought alex did a great job. >> reporter: for trump, acosta resignation comes as a relief amid renewed scrutiny over his own relationship with epstein. today he said it wasn't a distraction. >> well, alex believed that. >> reporter: the departure leaves the president with another acting secretary in his cabinet. >> we have, as everybody knows, we have pat pazella who is a deputy and he'll be acting for a period of time. >> reporter: the acting labor secretary will be in good company because the department of defense and department of homeland security and mult pull other federal agencies are all run by acting heads. while experts say permanent
cabinet secretaries provide more stability, the president prefers it his way. without the confirmation hearings. >> i sort of like acting. it gives me more flexibility. >> reporter: and critics noted that outgoing labor secretary acosta was the only hispanic in the president's cabinet. a detail trump noted today. >> he was a great student at harvard, he's hispanic, which i so admire, because maybe it was a little tougher for him and maybe not. >> reporter: now, jake, we reported on this show before, the president's frustration with the director of national intelligence dan coats and it appears those frustrations have revived and now sources are selling cnn the president is once again weighing replacing dan coats. a national security official denied this would happen any time soon and another person offered a word of caution because the president is, of course, hesitant with the departures to make it look or add to the perception this administration is chaotic so since there was just a departure
this morning it might buy dan coats more time. jake. >> kaitlan collins at the white house. let's chew over this. jackie, let me start with you. let's talk about the display of president trump and acosta coming out together and the president praised acosta saying it was his decision, his decision is-- his decision alon do you buy. >> when you look at resignation letter it was very complimentary to the president and thanking him and how he's going to make america great again and he has to step aside so he's not a distraction. i haven't heard anything behind the scenes that contradict that. there were people inside of the white house who had been urging the president to kick acosta to the curb when this epstein -- >> mull mulvaney. >> and others because of what was happening with epstein. they saw the rising tide that it wouldn't go away and it will not go away and the president was resistant at that time. >> and david, you're a trump
2020 campaign adviser and work on behalf of transportation companies. >> my new tag line. >> full disclosure. but look at sheer number of high-profile exits from the trump administration. and here is some -- some of the top positions which are being held in just an acting capacity. right now, that is a lot of acting secretaries. the president has said he likes acting positions. it gives him more flexibility. but the constitution said the senate gets to advise and consent. i understand it is easier for the president but that is not how it is supposed to work. >> so let's not forget that some of the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of our good friend the minority leader -- >> chuck schumer. >> who is using his role in terms of burning them out of time. most of americans understanding the archaic rules of the senate but the majority is not allowing people to get a hearing. he's doing a good job at it. so there are some of the folks, legitimate vaccances to be
filled and folks are just treading walter. >> but the president hasn't named -- >> no. exactly. he has named some folks. >> but he doesn't blame schumer for it. >> no. but senator schumer should get -- some of the blame should lay on his shoulders for the folks that are confirmed and have been nominated. >> i'm not talking about major -- >> so acting -- listen, as we all know, around this table and in america they should know this, right, everybody is in the acting capacity in this administration. even if you are the secretary, you may not be the secretary the next day. >> explain why -- >> it matters -- it is about transparency and accountability. someone who is -- has to be confirmed by the senate, i would argue, jack and i were talking about this, maybe they didn't go the best job with alex acosta. >> only tim kaine asked about it. >> because a person has to go through a process of being
confirm and then they become the secretary and there is transparency and accountability. not just to the president but to the american people. and part of the reason that the president, i think, seems to like -- when he said he likes it he's running it like a corporation to fire at will a lot more easily than when you've had somebody who has only been there six months who is an acting. it is very different. >> and we don't know exactly what will happen next with that position. but the deputy secretary of labor who might become the acting secretary of labor a guy named pat pazella and there are questions about the new acting secretary of labor was a lobbyist for sweat shops in a previous life. here from his confirmation hearing, here is al franken in 2017 asking him about this. >> the key issues you lobbied on was to block bipartisan legislation for basic worker protections in the northern marianna islands where garment manufacturers could produce clothing labelled made in the usa without having to comply
with u.s. minimum wage laws. >> is this going to be a problem for the trump administration, too? this new guy. >> if they want to confirm him and appoint him in a permanent capacity, it will be. democrats will have an issue with that. but it is also something that is a bit of a pattern with the trump administration because it also exists in the epa where there were appointments of high-level people who were lobbyists for energy corporations and people who flat out said they wanted to undo the epa and put in positions to run it. >> what do you make? do you think democrats will come at this guy? >> i certainly hope so. i hope they've learned the lesson it is important to have real scrutiny of these folks. and where appropriate, go through the process of actually making sure they are not confirmed. >> everyone stick around. we have more to talk about. coming up, bracing for tropical storm barry. will the already taxed levees hold up as the storm turns toward the louisiana gulf coast.
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with the rain could make for a flooding disaster. which is why mandatory evacuations are underway in low-lying areas right now. we have teams down in the gulf coast and the cnn weather center to show us what might hit the u.s. let's start with meteorologist allison chinchar. how strong will this tropical storm get and how long will it be a problem for the gulf coast. >> let's start with the first question. we do expect this to intensify getting up to a low-end category one storm right before it makes landfall. that is expected saturday morning in louisiana. the concern going forward is all of the rain that it ends up bringing to the other locations it then continues to go on as it pushes to the north but in the short-term, everyone wants to know, what are the implications for a city, say, like new orleans, which is prone to flooding and can often have a lot of big issues with that. here is the thing. one of the biggest concerns right now is going to be storm surge. you could see the outer bands will pull that water all the way
in towards the city of new orleans. here is the thing. then everybody starts to wonder how does the storm surge impact the levee. right now this region we're expecting three to five feet of storm surge but as it comes pack over it has the potential to overtop the eastern edge of the levee on the mississippi river and then what happens to the water? it starts to flow backwards toward the city of new orleans. it basically becomes funneled and pushed all the way back. the concern then is if those water levels, jake, could get to 20 feet or higher, the levees will be overtopped and that is when you start to see new orleans begin to flood. >> thank you so much. let's go to gary tuchman live in new orleans. and city officials there say they have confidence in the levee and pumping system but people who live in previously flood-prone areas have good reason to be concerned. >> reporter: that is right, jake. the people who live in this area where i am right now have very
good reason to be concerned because this area was devastated during katrina. this is the lake view section of new orleans on the shores of the 630 square mile lake pontchartrain behind me. when we arrived here about two hours ago, there was no water on this road. there has been virtually no rain but it is already flooding. next to us is this water pumping station. this station was built after hurricane katrina and it is next to the 17th street canal, and one of the largest in new orleans, surround by the 17th street levees built after hurricane katrina to protect the city but before katrina it was split open on the east side into the lake view sections and tons of water came through and other levees were destroyed and that contributed to hundreds of people dying here in new orleans during katrina, a total of 1800 people died in new orleans and other parts of the area from hurricane katrina. so there is no mandatory evacuation order in effect, but
people here are being promised that they're doing everything they can to keep you safe but they are a bit jittery. back to you. >> understandably so. gary tuchman in new orleans. let's bring in republican senator john kennedy of the state of louisiana. he spoke with president trump about the storm earlier today. he's joining us on the phone from baton rouge. senator kennedy, good to have you on. tropical storm barry expected to make landfall overnight. what is your biggest concern right now? >> the water. it was starting to feel theects. you can see it. i just came from new orleans and baton rouge and you could smell it. you could smell that a storm is coming. i think it will hit in about 15 hours and go up the middle of the state. it is about 200 miles wide. winds not good, but i've been through worse storms. water is our concern, number one, you get 10 to 20 inches of rain, you're go fog flood even
if your on pike's peak and we're concerned about the levees overtopping. i've been through a lot of these. every storm is different but they have two things in common, they make you realize that the power of nature can humble the power of human beings anytime it wants to and the other thing i always learn is if you are not scared, you're either a fool or a liar. but we are ready, as ready as we can be. the president called me this morning and he's declared an emergency. we're getting great help from homeland security and from fema. and my people are tough as a boot and we'll get through it. >> the governor of louisiana, john bel edwards was asked if louisiana is better for a hurricane compared to past storms such as katrina. take a listen to his response. >> our state is better prepared. but that comes with a caveat. you never know what mother nature is going to serve until she has served it. >> do you believe that
preparations in louisiana have been adequate, senator? >> yes. i do. and they're better. i was there during katrina. he was serving as a straight treasurer. it was a dumpster fire at all levels, federal and state and local. we had nowhere to go but up but we're infinitely better prepared and all levels of government are coordinated and the federal resources are here. that doesn't mean that this is going to be a cake walk or this is the big rock candy mountain here, this is a serious storm but we're as ready as we can be for it. we have our protocols that have all been followed. >> there are people obviously in low-lying areas that are under mandatory evacuations. some of them, however, are not leaving. take a listen to the reasoning. >> i'm worried, but i don't know, it is not that bad of a storm i don't think. i could be wrong. we'll see.
>> as long as you got electricity you could still make it. but i'm not going nowhere for this. i don't see it going to be too bad. >> senator, what is your message to people in the mandatory evacuation areas not leaving and who think they can just ride out the storm? >> well, my first response is a lot of people stay to protect their property. the most important things in life aren't things. worry about your life and your family's life. we have shelters set up all across south louisiana, all you have to do is give somebody a call and we'll come get you, and we'll get you to safer ground. don't -- don't be stuck on stupid. get out. if you feel at all at risk. the problem with the rainfall and the levee topping is we don't know exactly where, if at all, the levee will top and we can't predict where the heavy rain will be. now the gentleman you just had on, he may be fine. but if he gets 20 inches of rain
over a short period of time, two days, he's likely to flood. and he's putting himself at risk. >> senator john kennedy, republican of louisiana, thank you so much. we appreciate your time, sir. >> thanks, jake. coming up next, living in fear in a church. one mother's desperate attempt to avoid this weekend's i.c.e. raids. stay with us. see that's funny, i thought you traded options. i'm not really a wall street guy. what's the hesitation? eh, it just feels too complicated, you know? well sure, at first, but jj can help you with that. jj, will you break it down for this gentleman? hey, ian. you know, at td ameritrade, we can walk you through your options trades step by step until you're comfortable. i could be up for that. that's taking options trading from wall st. to main st. hey guys, wanna play some pool? eh, i'm not really a pool guy. what's the hesitation?
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a politics lead now, emotional testimony in a hearing about the way that migrant children and other undocumented migrants have been treated under the trump administration. several democratic lawmakers detailed their horrific conditions they say they witnessed while touring detention centers on the board as the house oversight committee revealed 18 children under the age of two were separated from parents in some cases for up to six months. we report on a dramatic day on capitol hill. >> children separated from their parents in front of an american flag. >> reporter: emotional testimony from house democrats. >> the fear in their eyes wouldn't be forgotten, mr. speaker. >> reporter: about what they saw during the visit last week to two border facilities in texas. >> i believed the canker sores that i saw in their mouths because they were only allowed to be fed unnutritious food and sleeping on concrete floors for
two months. >> reporter: firsthand accounts of the encounters with detained migrants. >> she asked me if she deserved to be treating like this, if they deserve to be treated like dogs. >> reporter: the department of homeland security has denied some of the allegations, including that women had to drink from toilets, saying water was available. the acting dhs inspector general sounding the alarm. >> we remain concern it is not taking sufficient steps to address the overcrowding and prolonged detention particularly with respect to single adult detainees. >> reporter: the custom enforcement chief also emotional defending his agency. >> i'm the only one in this room that has wore a green uniform and been on that line and stood in the back of tractor-trailer by 19 dead aliens and a little boy who suffocated to death in his father's arms. i was there. and i saw and i smelled it and it is terrible. and i still have nightmares to this day. this isn't just on -- this is about saving lives.
i found enough dead bodies in my day. >> reporter: as the house oversight committee released a new report of the at least 2648 children separated from their parents, at least 18 were infants and toddlers under the age of two, including nine babies under the age of one kept apart for 20 days to six months. >> the administration child separation were more harmful, traumatic and chaotic than previously known. >> reporter: meantime today vice president mike pence and a group of republican senators are making their own visit to a border facility in texas. all democrats invited to join them declined. that derided by senator thom tillis saying a lot of empty seats since not a single democrat showed up. >> and the vice president's trip follows the media being given access yesterday to one of the same facilities that the democrats had toured a few weeks ago.
there were very few migrants left in that facility, despite the dramatic overcrowding in recent weeks, likely due to the fact that congress approved funding earlier in june, likely easing the overcrowding by sending some of the children to hhs facilities, jake. >> sunlen serfaty on capitol hill. president trump confirmed on sunday immigration and customs enforcement or i.c.e. will begin nationwide deportation raids and said the primary focus is on criminals but sources tell cnn that among the targets are hundreds of families only apparent crime is they are here illegally and ignored orders. it is creating fear and panic and as rosa flores shows us, one undocumented woman in chicago whose children are u.s. citizens has taken to hiding in a house of worship. >> reporter: she lived in chicago for some 20 years. she's the mom of four u.s.
citizens who she raised in the o outskirts of town but for the past two years lino lived in a church away from her family and hoping to not be deported. lino who is undocumented said she gets in a panic thinking about getting pulled away and stashed in overcrowded detention facilities she's seen on the news and she took sanctuary in this church, a place federal agents avoid raiding. >> do you have a plan if there is a raid here in the church? >> no. >> reporter: and now she's worried it could all come to an end this weekend. when planned i.c.e. raids in cities across the country including chicago are set to begin. for more than a decade, a time span covering administrations of both parties, lino checked in with immigration officials twice a year and there was never any issue. until donald trump took office. cnn was there in 2017 the morning of her first check-in
during the trup era. >> translator: it brings me a lot of fear. >> reporter: it was an emotional affair for her entire family. first an immigration agent told her she could stay for another year. >> translator: i feel very happy because i was given another year. >> reporter: and then -- her joy turned to heart break when she was asked to return to the federal building in four months with her bags packed and a one-way ticket out of the country. her daughter became physically ill. >> you were having a panic attack upstairs? >> yeah. i couldn't breathe. i was choked up. i couldn't talk. >> reporter: lino said that is what hurts her the most. about being hunkered down the last couple of years. it is not being able to simply hug her daughters out side of this church, especially when they needed their mom and that is something she may never do again on u.s. soil come this weekend. and while francisca lino is
taking sanctuary in this church she is technically not in hiding. people in the community know she's here and the congregation of the church definitely knows she's here and she's not the first undocumented migrant to take sanctuary here but here is what gives lino hope, the doors that you see behind me, the front doors to this church, have never been busted by immigration officials before. jake. >> rosa flores, thank you. and tune in tonight to cnn for a special report, the hidden work force, undocumented america airing at 10:00 p.m. eastern on cnn. and a baby and a lame duck and terrible and a taste of the tirade president trump had against a fellow republican. what sparked the name-calling against paul ryan. stay with us. if you have moderate to severe psoriasis, little things can be a big deal.
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paul ryan was a terrible speaker, frankly he was a baby. he didn't know what the hell he was doing. >> president trump going after fellow republican former house speaker paul ryan after ryan said some less than kind things about him in a new book titled "american carnage" by tim alberta out next week. according to alberta ryan suggested that he could not survive another two years as speaker with trump and viewed retirement as a, quote, escape hatch. so let's chew over this. laura, let me start with you. here is more about what ryan said in the trump, i'm telling you, he didn't know anything about government. i wanted to scold him all of the time. he added, this is ryan, about trump, we helped him make much better decisions which were terro terrory -- which were contrary
to his kneejerk reaction. >> i think there is a lot more that do -- that share ryan's view and they'll talk about it on in the background to you but won't say it publicly at all. what is interesting, ryan repeatedly defended trump and not until he's out of office that he will say what he fully thinks which is similar to bob kosher and flake. >> he did help get the tax cuts, the tax cuts through congress. he did -- at least as far as republicans in the house were concerned, get the repeal and replace of obamacare through the house. he was in -- in many ways trump's ally. >> legislatively. but he wouldn't comment on tweets when trump was in office. he was a republican who didn't
think trump would win. let's not forget, after the "access hollywood" tape, ryan was ready to step away and he did in a lot of ways. >> he told trump not to come to the state for a rally. >> so he betrayed him when trump needed him most and trump forgot that and you could see that -- that come back every so often with the relationship where he didn't think ryan was someone he could trust. >> david, here is what president trump said about paul ryan just last year, speaker paul ryan is a good man and while he's not seeking re-election he will leave a legacy of achievement nobody could question. we are with you, paul. >> paul ryan was leaving, it is a nice -- it is like he's at his farewell banquet giving a toast. it is no surprised that paul ryan and donald trump are two completely different people. >> not even the same temperature. >> and i know paul ryan. he's a nice guy. i worked with him on the hill as
a staffer and as a member. paul ryan is a walking congressional research service report. a very wonk-ish, into the levers and buttons of how the policy works in washington. and that is not how donald trump works. so for paul ryan to say trump doesn't know anything about washington, that is why he was sent here. people in motorcycle voted h-- voted for him and the president, i know, for a fact, was very disappointed that paul ryan couldn't get the health care plan done. that was one of the first things out of the block. needed to get done and they would deliver, couldn't count the votes and they failed miserably. >> the president undermined them. >> but the point is they said we'll deliver this and we got this done, please send it done and we have it teed up and then they couldn't do it and you see the president compliments nancy pelosi for holding her caucus together and keeping people disciplined and he said numerous times that paul ryan could never
do that. >> because of the freedom caucus. >> exactly. >> a couple of things. paul ryan should just shut up and go home with this. come on, you were here and you had an opportunity to make a difference and it is hard to hear him whining about it now. he's out of office so that is easy. the hard work is what did you do when you were here? he said oh, we stopped him from making bad decisions. that is not what leadership is about. so it is hard to hear that from paul ryan at this point. but i think what his comments represent, this is what -- this is the reckoning for the gop, this is what they brought. a lot of republican members were opposed to trump until he became the president and now they're -- they've sort of made the devil's bargain and the book talks about that a bit and they're getting on board and the evangelicals are happy because they got the judges they want, people are afraid to speak out about him and it is -- it took charlottesville, the horrible, horrible protests in charlottesville and the death of heather heyer for people to
speak out. i don't hear republicans talking about what is going on at the border. this is the devil's bargain and at some point the republican party will have a reckoning, you let this guy become president and didn't do anything to stop it. >> there used to be more republicans who spoke publicly out against the president. senator bob corker and jeff flake and both decided not to seek re-election. justin amash, a congressman from whichg just announced he will not be a republican any more. with the exception of, i guess, mitt romney. is there an occasionally litt--l hurd, is there anybody who speaks against president trump any more. >> none that i could think of. none that come to mind. and those that do, in amash's case, do so knowing that it is a big risk because he is already facing threats of a primary challenge, trump is very likely to back whoever runs against him and so this is very much the party of trump now. >> so what does that tell you? he's wildly popular and in all
of the republican districts and state and he must be doing something right. the party hasn't left him, party is embracing. >> that is true in terms of the republican base. stick around. we'll talk about 2020. new numbers out in a key early state that some of the democratic presidential candidates want to see. stay with us. has been excellent. they really appreciate the military family and it really shows. with all that usaa offers why go with anybody else? we know their rates are good, we know that they're always going to take care of us. it was an instant savings and i should have changed a long time ago. it was funny because when we would call another insurance company, hey would say "oh we can't beat usaa" we're the webber family. we're the tenney's we're the hayles, and we're usaa members for life. ♪ get your usaa auto insurance quote today. ♪ change has many faces. names you'll never know. the bright-eyed, the brave, the visionaries. where challenges exist, you'll find them.
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senator kamala harris breathing new life into her criticisms of joe biden today, questioning in many ways his preparedness for the democratic presidential race. >> we're on a debate stage and if you have not prepared, and you're not ready for somebody to point out a difference of opinion about the history of
segregation in our country and what was necessary to deal with that, which at that time was busing, then you're probably not ready. >> so she's obviously talking about when she criticized joe biden for opposing busing and working with segregationists in the '70s to oppose busing when she was somebody in her view benefited from busing. what do you think? >> i think she's right. look, this is why we have a primary. i would far rather have joe biden have to figure out how he's going to answer a question like that now than in a gem election context and i think frankly for all of the candidates, kamala herself has issues to figure how to respond if she's challenged on these and that is why it is important -- i ro rather see these things happen early on in the primary than later in the primary where it could do real damage and why i don't buy the whole argument. i think there is a point not to get too personal and nasty but we can't be afraid to throw a few punches here and there because you have to take the
punches in the presidential election. >> and david you're a trump supporter and you're bullish on biden. >> i have. not so much these days. >> and as a pennsylvanian you know he worked well withar arlen specter. and take a look at this as to whether the strategy is working. 35% of voters in south carolina support biden and the next closest is sanders at 14% and harris at 12%. and when you look at black democratic voters, they're pivotal, more overwhelming support biden, 41% with the next candidate at 15%. so if harris is trying to make voters see biden as not comfortable enough with civil rights in the '70s, in this poll, it is not working with african-americans in south carolina. >> those numbers don't seem to reflect it. what i think is more telling is when you see joe biden on the stage with people nimble and he seems very flat footed and out of step and lost a step and former nba player trying to play
with the current guys right now. he just can't keep up and his stamina and he's not there, the agility is not there and as this continues to play out -- >> only one debate. >> but the one debate is very telling. it is very telling. his answers weren't good. the follow-up, it takes weeks for him to respond to people. weeks to make decisions on things. doesn't seem like he's -- normally campaigns turn on a dime, stop the bleeding. pivot. >> i don't disagree. it is the first debate and there is a lot of room for improvement from everybody, but this isn't joe biden's first rodeo, his first presidential campaign or debate. so that is why it was surprising that he was caught off guard by kamala harris. >> i don't disagree with that. >> i think the polls are also reflective of the generational split among the democratic party which is there are older black voters in south carolina and they are in line with biden as views but other younger latinos in other states don't see eye to eye with him and if -- it could
be a 2008 scenario where if some other candidate that isn't named biden wins iowa or new hampshire, you could see south carolina flip really quick. >> and obviously south carolina and african-americans i remember overwhelmingly supported hillary clinton until senator barack obama showed that he was a viable candidate by winning the iowa caucus and they flipped and he won south carolina overwhelmingly. >> right. look, a lot of african-american voters in that instance were waiting to see, if you could win the white vote then we think you could get elected and they're afraid to support -- >> but is that the problem when you have 30 people running. is anybody going to break out. >> that is another question. the next primary debate, by the way, i would be remiss in not mentioning, are right here on cnn and dana bash doond lemon will join me july 30th and 31st live from michigan. coming up, the update on tropical storm barry. it is expected any moment. we'll bring it to you. stay with us. movie theaters, exercise rooms and swimming pools, public cafes, bars and bistros
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>> really badly. so badly it is making me ill. >> reporter: but as much as they want a win, progressives expect a candidate who shares their values or at least a centrist who adopts what they want. >> will the candidates including joe biden accept that his base has changed under his feet, that we're demanding economic, racial and social justice as the platform. >> reporter: biden isn't scheduled to appear, and neither is stall wart bernie sanders but elizabeth warren and several other candidates will be there. along with 3600 activists expected to descend upon the annual conference, the largest ever according to organizers and progressive momentum picking up steam. >> we have the largest attendance ever about 30% is an indicator that the groos roots is very excited about 2020. >> reporter: community activists in the battleground state of
pennsylvania which trump won three years ago hitting the streets nearly every day to build support, november 2020 a powerful motivator. 25-year-old anthony davis had never even registered to vote until the election of donald trump. >> now i'm an active voter and make sure that i go down to the polls every election. i make sure that i'm there. i show up. >> reporter: and he's not alone. activists across the left say president donald j. trump is keeping them focused. >> everybody is gung-ho. kids, mothers. brothers in laws. pets, dogs, if they could vote -- >> reporter: now we asked around quite a bit of progressives here at net roots nation and so far they say they don't see any -- there is no rancor in the division of 2016 when the party was so splitd and they think the dnc is being a fair arbiter and the dnc taking part in some of the workshops. from your home town, back to you, jake. >> miguel marquez, thank you so
much and tune in on sunday to state of the union with candidate maybe bill de blasio and ken cuccinelli on sunday. our coverage on cnn continues now. thanks for watching. happening now, breaking news, powerful storm, the new forecast is just coming in for tropical storm barry expected to make landfall in louisiana as a hurricane bringing a storm surge and heavy rain to an area that is already suffering flooding. why officials are so concerned. resign and replace. labor secretary alex acosta amid an uproar over the sex crime plea deal he oversaw for jeffrey epstein a decade ago as a u.s. attorney as sources say president trump is considering replacing the director of national intelligence dan coats. fiery hearing
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